The Orbitz "Look Back, Look Ahead" Insider Index, released Jan. 3, revealed top destination predictions and travel trends for 2013 and reviewed travelers habits in 2012.

Top 2013 Travel Destination Predictions

New Orleans, New Zealand and Charleston are projected to be among the top destinations this year. In 2012, New Orleans topped Travel+Leisure's “Favorite Cities” survey and this year will host Super Bowl XLVII and the NCAA Women's Final Four, as well as food, music and lifestyle festivals.

The release of the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey  is expected to boost international travel to New Zealand. Also, Tourism New Zealand reports that before the release of the movie, interest in the destination increased with Hobbit-related searches rising 265% in November 2012.

Added flights will help travelers visit Charleston in 2013. Robyn Rice, Charleston destination expert and regional director for Orbitz Worldwide, said Conde Nast Traveler “Readers’ Choice Awards” recognized the Charleston area as both the top U.S. city and the top destination in the world.

Orbitz Travel Trend Predictions for 2013

According to Orbitz editors, the top travel trends for 2013 will be mobile booking, international travel and social rewards:

  • During major holidays in 2012, more that 75% of Orbitz travelers booked their trip from their mobile device.
  • According to a 2012 Orbitz customer survey, 20% of travelers planned to travel internationally and ITB World Travel Trends Report expects U.S. outbound travel to increase by 3%.
  • This year, travelers will benefit more from social media as more travel brands shift their focus to build their social media presence to benefit the customer.

Top 2012 Travel Weeks, Destinations

For the first time in three years, Christmas was replaced by the third week of June (24-30) as the top spot for the most crowded travel weeks in 2012, according to the Orbitz report. Now Christmas is in second place, Thanksgiving is in third, followed by Fourth of July and Memorial Day weekends. The rankings are based on hotel and airfare bookings.

Las Vegas and New York are again featured at the top of the list of the 10 most popular U.S. travel destinations for their variety of hotels, attractions and deals. San Antonio ranked ninth for its balance of new restaurants and shops with iconic places like The Alamo and Mission San Jose, according to Orbitz.

Orbitz Insider Index:
Top U.S. Travel
Destinations in 2012

2012 RankDestination
1 Las Vegas
2 New York
3 Chicago
4 San Diego
5 San Francisco
6 Orlando
7 Washington, D.C.
8 New Orleans
9 San Antonio
10 Miami

In 2012, half the top 10 international destinations are Spanish-speaking countries. The rest of the list is made up of popular European places, Toronto and for the first time, Hong Kong.

Orbitz Insider Index:
Top International Travel
Destinations in 2012

2012 RankDestination
1 Cancun
2 London
3 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
4 San Juan, Puerto Rico
5 Paris
6 Rome
7 Riviera Maya, Mexico
8 Hong Kong
9 Toronto
10 Barcelona

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